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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
The November 25, 2005, and December 2, 2005, Training Tips gave suggestions on how to maintain directional control on the runway, then climb precisely along the extended runway centerline to altitude. The next trick is to level off and establish the aircraft in cruise flight. Leveling off may seem like a mere transition between climb and cruise, but don't underestimate the know-how involved, nor the importance of doing it right. Leveling off skillfully lets you turn to navigation and communication promptly, free of distractions and altitude excursions.
In a low-powered trainer with a fixed-pitch propeller, your level-off begins when you lower the pitch attitude from climb to cruise and then, after a brief interval of acceleration, set cruise power. To make the process easy and precise, a good rule of thumb is to "lead" your level-off by 10 percent of your vertical speed. "If you're climbing at 500 feet per minute, begin your level-off at 50 feet before your target altitude for a smooth transition," wrote Julie K. Boatman in the July 2002 AOPA Pilot feature "Out of the Pattern: Precision Pilot." See her tips for avoiding distractions that cause pilots to fail to maintain an assigned altitude and suggestions for other good practices for pilots of any experience level.
Why maintain climb power for a time after lowering pitch? "Maintaining climb power after the level-off enables the aircraft to reach cruise speed more quickly, and it reduces the amount of trimming required. It's perfectly acceptable to trim while the aircraft is still accelerating, but remind students the level-flight trim setting changes with speed, so they will have to make a final trim adjustment when the airplane stabilizes at its cruise airspeed," Christopher Parker advised CFIs in the June 1997 Flight Training column "Instructor Tips: Cruise Challenges."
Now you are ready to run the cruise checklist, which typically includes these items: setting cruise power, retrimming, and leaning the fuel/air mixture ( download Chapter 5 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge). The same leveling-off technique works after a descent or when changing cruise altitude for better visibility or a smoother ride.
Leveling off is a brief phase of flight but no less demanding of good piloting than any other flight operation-and just as satisfying to perform well.
| Your Partner in Training |
|The AOPA Medical Certification home page is the starting point for information about medical certification issues with your local examiner and regional federal air surgeons. Also available are medical subject reports, answers to common aviation medical concerns, searchable listings of aviation medical examiners (AMEs) and FAA medications, and a medical online status request form to assist with your medical certification. Questions? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern toll-free at 800/872-2672. |
As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.
| Flight Training News |
MARTHA KING HONORED FOR AVIATION ACHIEVEMENTS
The National Aeronautic Association has given Martha King its 2005 Cliff Henderson Award for Achievement. The award is presented yearly to a living person or group whose vision, leadership, or skill has made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation or space activity. Martha King and husband John are the familiar faces in King Schools' instructional programs. She is the only woman to hold every class of pilot and instructor rating available.
AVIATION RETURNS TO UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
After a nearly 20-year hiatus, aviation ground school has returned to the University of Notre Dame. The Fundamentals of Aviation course is offered through the Notre Dame Pilot Initiative as an elective through the ROTC program. Eighteen students registered for the spring session, nearly triple the number who signed up in the fall, according to a story in the Notre Dame Observer. Former students Joe Friel, Jeff Newcamp, and Brian McCarthy are credited with reviving the course, which was first offered in 1973 but was discontinued in 1977 because there wasn't a professor to teach it.
LIBERTY AEROSPACE, PILOT JOURNEY REACH MARKETING AGREEMENT
Pilot Journey of Nashville, Tennessee, has signed an agreement with Liberty Aerospace to market and handle direct sales efforts on behalf of flight schools that are participants in the Liberty Flight School (LFS) program. Pilot Journey will provide sales support to LFS schools by marketing and selling flight training services. By creating student demand, the new LFS program is designed to reward schools that join.
FRASCA GLASS-COCKPIT SIMULATOR GETS FAA NOD
Frasca International's Mentor flight training simulator, unveiled earlier this year, has received FAA approval as an advanced aviation training device. The Mentor is designed to train pilots to operate integrated avionics systems such as the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. FAA approval means the Mentor can be used to satisfy certain tasks, maneuvers, and procedures under select sections of the FAA regulations. It can be used for up to 20 hours training toward an instrument rating, 2.5 hours toward a private pilot certificate, 50 hours toward a commercial certificate, and 25 hours toward an airline transport pilot certificate.
BEECH STARSHIP LANDS AT SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Aviation enthusiasts were saddened to learn in June 2003 that Raytheon Aircraft planned to decommission the Beech Starship fleet of composite, canard-design aircraft. But Raytheon has made good on its promise that some of the 53 would be donated to museums, airframe and powerplant schools, and research institutes. Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City is the latest recipient of a Starship. SLCC showcased the newly acquired airplane at an aviation maintenance open house on December 3. SLCC received the aircraft about two months ago through a joint effort with the Utah Aeronautics Division. The aviation maintenance department will use the airplane as a teaching tool.
| Inside AOPA |
ADIZ DRAWS ATTENTION FROM MAINSTREAM MEDIA
The problems associated with the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) are drawing ever more attention, even outside aviation circles. Last week AOPA President Phil Boyer answered questions from a Bloomberg News reporter about the negative economic impact of the ADIZ and Washington Flight Restricted Zone. He explained that the impact of airspace restrictions is felt even beyond the airports, pointing to communities around just four of the airports inside the ADIZ, which sustained losses of more than $10 million annually between 2002 and 2004. The FAA has extended the deadline to file comments on its proposal to make the ADIZ permanent. AOPA is urging pilots who have not yet filed comments to do so before the February 6, 2006, deadline. To learn more about the ADIZ and what it means to pilots, or to file comments, see the AOPA Member Action Center: Operation ADIZ.
COLLECT UP TO $250 BACK ON YOUR AVIATION PURCHASES
Busy this holiday season? AOPA Member Products and MBNA have reduced the "to-do" list for AOPA FBO Rebate Credit Card holders this year. Submitting your rebate request is now easier than ever! You can view up to 12 months of your FBO Rebate Credit Card statements, making submitting your rebate as easy as a few clicks of your mouse. Or, you can mail or fax your requests. Not an AOPA Credit Card holder? Why not apply and get rewarded for your FBO purchases? Save up to $250 a year on your FBO purchases, plus an unlimited 5 percent immediate discount on most items at Sporty's Pilot Shop. For more information, visit AOPA Online or call 800/932-2775 for details.
GIVE TO ASF AND GET A FREE CALENDAR
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation calendar program is a way to help support its free aviation safety programs. Anyone wishing to receive the 2006 calendar may do so by becoming a donor with a gift of $10 or more. For more information, call 800/USA-AOPA, or visit the Web site.
HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.
| Training Products |
NEW BOOK OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO PREPURCHASE INSPECTION
There's more to the prepurchase inspection of an aircraft than turning it over to a mechanic and hoping for the best. Denny Pollard's new book, Handbook of Aeronautical Inspection and Pre-Purchase, takes you through the process from a mechanic's point of a view, showing you common pitfalls and traps for the unsuspecting would-be aircraft owner. (Does the phrase "fresh annual" give you a sense of security? It shouldn't, says Pollard.) The author of the self-published book is an airframe and powerplant mechanic with inspection authorization. The book sells for $25 and may be ordered online from Trafford Publishing.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
| Final Exam |
| Question: If I perform the required takeoffs and landings for carrying passengers at night, does that mean I'm current to carry passengers during the day? |
Answer: Yes, as long as the night landings were completed in the same category, class, and type of aircraft you plan to fly during the day. The regulation 14 CFR 61.57 provides the recency of experience requirements for acting as pilot in command. To carry passengers during the day, you must have completed three takeoffs and three landings as sole manipulator of the controls in the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required) within the preceding 90 days. The landings must be completed to a full stop if being completed in a tailwheel airplane. To carry passengers at night, all of the same day requirements apply. In addition, all of the landings, regardless of the airplane you're flying, must be completed to a full stop during the period beginning one hour after sunset and ending one hour before sunrise. For additional information on pilot-in-command currency, see AOPA Online.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
| Picture Perfect |
| Time is running out! Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Order high-quality prints from the AOPA Online Gallery. Search the hundreds of images, select your favorite, and a beautiful print will be shipped directly to your doorstep. Order by December 12 for guaranteed holiday delivery. Of course, you can still download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Are you researching aviation programs at colleges and universities? Take advantage of AOPA resources to make a smart decision. See AOPA's updated aviation subject report. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
Denver, Colorado. An FAA seminar, "In-depth Insight into Weight and Balance," takes place December 10 at Jeffco (BJC). Featuring the principles of how an aircraft flies when adhering to the proper weight and balance. Contact Chris Lucas, 303/530-4495, or visit the Web site.
California City, California. The Vintage Mooney Group Toys for Tots Fly-in takes place December 10 at California City Municipal (L71). We will meet at 10 a.m. with the parade of planes starting around 11 a.m. Let your love of flying bring a gift of holiday cheer to someone who needs it. Contact Scott McKelvey, 707/363-3674, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Denver, and Orlando, Florida, December 17 and 18. Courses are also scheduled in Long Beach, California; Detroit; and Portland, Oregon, January 7 and 8. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Reno, Nevada, January 2; Sacramento, California, January 3; Santa Rosa, California, January 4; and San Jose, California, January 5. The Topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.